The Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins are both just a few plays away from having completely different starts to the 2023 NFL season.
Denver is 0-2 and has lost its first two games under head coach Sean Payton by a total of three points. The Broncos trailed the Washington Commanders by 11 points in the fourth quarter of Week 2, but quarterback Russell Wilson’s 50-yard Hail Mary pass for a touchdown as time expired gave Denver unlikely hope.
That disappeared quickly. After losing by one point in Week 1, Denver failed in its attempt to score two points and lost 35-33 in Week 2. The Broncos are one of eight 0-2 teams in the league, despite leading 21-3 in the second quarter against the Broncos Commander.
Miami has performed much better in close games this season. Miami held off a comeback from the New England Patriots last weekend, winning 24-17. This came after a two-point win over the Los Angeles Chargers to open the new season. Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is healthy after an injury-riddled 2022 and leads the NFL with 715 passing yards through two games. Tagovailoa passed Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the current MVP favorite in the eyes of many bookmakers.
BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings are among the books that give Tagovailoa the best chance of winning the award as of Tuesday. Mahomes has the second-best odds at every sportsbook.
The game between these two AFC teams in Week 3 will determine whether the Broncos can get their first win of the season or whether the Dolphins remain undefeated. Here’s a look at what else fans should know before Sunday.
Broncos-Dolphins TV and streaming information
The Broncos-Dolphins game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The game will be broadcast on CBS for fans in both markets. Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Trent Green (analyst) will join the call.
Fans looking to stream the game can do so via NFL+, Fubo or the NFL Sunday Ticket package.
Will Jaylen Waddle play?
Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are perhaps the best wide receiver duo in the NFL. But one half of that duo may not be on the field in Week 3.
Waddle left Sunday night’s game against the Patriots late in the fourth quarter after taking a hard hit from linebacker Marte Mapu while attempting to catch a pass. Waddle did not return to the game. Mapu was punished for the violent blow. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel confirmed at a news conference Monday that Waddle has a concussion.
“We’re going to keep going,” McDaniel said. “He has already made progress in this process.”
Waddle has eight catches for 164 yards through the first two weeks of the season. The former No. 6 overall pick caught 75 passes for 1,356 yards and eight touchdowns last season, his second in the NFL. The Dolphins will update Waddle’s status on their injury report later this week.
Sean Payton is already making changes
Former Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett was criticized for the team’s time management and penalty issues during his 15 games with the franchise last season.
Two games into his time in Denver, Payton is there too. En route to their eventual defeat, the Broncos had to call multiple timeouts to avoid penalties, often rushing to the line of scrimmage at the last second to get into the starting lineup.
Payton said at a news conference Monday that he and the other Denver coaches are working to simplify the game language as a possible solution.
“I think No. 1, the first thing we always look for — but as coaches we have to do better — is reduce the vocabulary,” Payton said. “If we play longer, then.” We can easily get a bracelet. We need to reduce the variables.
“I just said this in the team meeting – if we can do it [mental errors] Defensively and offensively we have problems breaking through the crowd and positioning ourselves, then we have to see whether we have too much in it [the game plan]. How then do we reduce the vocabulary at the line of scrimmage or in the huddle, quite frankly? … This will improve.”
Payton’s mention of a bracelet could be something to watch out for in Week 3. Wilson has rarely worn one throughout his career, although he did wear a few last season under Hackett. A quarterback sometimes wears an armband that says “Plays” or “Audibles” to optimize play calls during a game. If Wilson takes the field in Miami this weekend wearing one, the Broncos may have made some significant changes.
Betting Odds: Over/Under for Broncos vs. Dolphins
According to a bet available Tuesday afternoon, Caesars Sportsbook lists the Dolphins as 6.5-point favorites over the Broncos. The over/under of the game is given as 48 points.